Prepare for crowds and long lines if you’re traveling for Christmas.
More than 2 million people are expected to travel through Seattle-Tacoma International Airport this holiday season, according to the Port of Seattle.
The busiest days in December are projected to be Friday with 136,107 passengers, followed by Dec. 30 with 135,220 passengers.
The least-busy days will be Christmas Eve with 94,607 passengers and Dec. 31 with 100,150 passengers.
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On the roads, the state Department of Transportation expects a significantly higher than normal number of travelers Friday and Monday.
Specific drive times were not available, but there is expected to be significant congestion on southbound Interstate 5 from Tacoma to Olympia 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday.
On Monday, northbound I-5 from Olympia to Tacoma is expected to be congested 11 a.m.-5 p.m., and Interstate 90 westbound over Snoqualmie Pass is expected to be congested 1-3 p.m.
Drive time charts can be found at wsdot.wa.gov, WSDOT spokesman Doug Adamson said, helping drivers plan how long it will take them to get where they’re headed for the holiday.
“Give yourself plenty of extra time,” Adamson said. “Especially if you have to be at Grandma’s house in time for dinner.”
At Sea-Tac, the 2 million travelers passing through from Dec. 18 to Jan. 3 likely will push the airport to set a record for an annual passenger total of about 46 million, nearly a 9 percent increase from last year.
In the middle of a busy season, Sea-Tac is encouraging passengers not to drive to the airport and instead use public transportation or catch a ride.
The Port said the north entrance of the airport parking garage is exceptionally crowded and suggested visitors use the south entrance on 182nd Street.
The busiest times at TSA checkpoints are 5 a.m.-11 a.m. and 9 p.m.-11 p.m.
Officials warned not to wrap gifts in carry-on bags and to arrive two hours ahead of domestic flights because of increased wait times.
Although holiday seasons always bring out more travelers, Sea-Tac’s busiest time is during the summer.
August brings in the most passengers, followed by June and July because of cruise ships that leave out of Seattle.
The airport’s passenger totals have increased by nearly 15 million in the past six years, and it has been the fastest growing large hub airport in the U.S. for the past two years.
Staff writer Kenny Ocker contributed to this report.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653